The Latest: May, Brexit critics face off in crisis meeting


LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Britain’s debate over leaving the European Union (all times local):

9 p.m.

Embattled Prime Minister Theresa May is scrambling to win over adversaries to her Brexit withdrawal plan as key Cabinet ministers denied media reports that they were plotting to oust her.

May spent Sunday afternoon ensconced in a crisis meeting at her country residence Chequers with fellow Conservatives and outspoken Brexit advocates like Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and others who would prefer to leave the European Union without a divorce deal rather than delay Britain’s departure.

Her office released a statement afterward giving no hint about whether she had gained any new backing. It said only that they discussed “whether there is sufficient support” to bring her Brexit divorce plan back to Parliament for a third vote.

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The prime minister has found her authority weakened after a series of setbacks in Parliament and her inability to win meaningful concessions from EU leaders who refuse to sweeten the Brexit deal.


2:10 p.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is going to be confronted by a group of her Conservative Party’s leading Brexiteers at a crisis meeting.

The Sunday afternoon session at Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence, is expected to include prominent Brexit advocates including former foreign secretary Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

May is struggling to keep her Brexit withdrawal plan alive and to keep her grip on power as opposition to her leadership mounts.

The Sunday Times claims that a Cabinet coup is underway with a growing number of Cabinet members seeking to oust May or force her to set a date for her departure.

Her authority has been weakened by her inability to build a consensus in Parliament behind her Brexit withdrawal plan, which has been defeated twice.


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9 a.m.

British media are reporting that British Prime Minister Theresa May faces growing pressure from within her own party either to resign or to set a date for stepping down as a way to build support for her Brexit agreement with the European Union.

Senior Conservative Party figures were urging May to recognize her weakened political position and leave the prime minister’s post. However, there was no indication from Downing Street a resignation was near.

Some of the party’s key supporters of a “hard” Brexit that would see Britain leave the EU even without a withdrawal deal planned to meet with May on Sunday afternoon at Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence.

May thus far has been unable to generate enough support in Parliament for the Brexit divorce deal her government and the EU reached late last year. Lawmakers voted down the Brexit plan twice, and May has raised the possibility of bringing it back a third time if enough legislators appear willing to switch their votes.


7:30 a.m.

If Prime Minister Theresa May is unable to rally support for her Brexit withdrawal agreement, the European leaders said Britain only has until April 12 to choose between leaving the EU without a divorce deal and a radically new path, such as revoking the decision to leave the bloc or calling another voter referendum on Brexit.

Parliament may take a series of votes this week to determine what proposals, if any, could command majority support.

Conservative Party legislator George Freeman tweeted Saturday night that the U.K. needs a new leader if the Brexit process is to move forward.

He tweeted “I’m afraid it’s all over for the PM. She’s done her best. But across the country you can see the anger. Everyone feels betrayed”

Under Conservative Party rules, May cannot face a formal leadership challenge from within her own party until December because she survived one three months ago. But she may be persuaded that her position is untenable if Cabinet ministers and other senior party members desert her.


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